There is no denying it, Autumn is well and truly upon us, the nights are drawing in and there is a distinct chill in the morning air!
For us, bonfire night marks the start of Autumn, so many memories of wrapping up warm, hugging a hot chocolate whilst watching the fireworks and later writing your name in sparklers! It’s a time of year that I now look forward to, although there were many years that I dreaded it. I hated the waking up in the dark, the bad weather, the lack of sunlight, I felt tired, fed up and couldn’t wait until Spring. In many ways I wished away 4 months of my life every year – that’s a third of the year! Over ten years that’s nearly 3 years of my life I simply wanted over and done with as quickly as possible!
But now I really look forward to it, as soon as Bonfire night is over I’m champing at the bit to light the fire, hot chocolate becomes a staple hot drink, furry blankets a must have and did I mention that Friday night becomes our Christmas movie night?
Often when I speak I show a picture of an Autumn scene and I split the room into two, I ask one half to describe it positively and the other negatively. Unsurprisingly the positive description is the journey we would like to be on and the negative one the one we would sooner avoid! The point being that it is the same picture but we have simply changed our focus, chosen to focus on that which is either positive or negative. We can do that with any aspect of our lives, choose to focus on the positive in the picture or choose to focus on the negative, you may not believe me, but there is a beautiful balance to life that there is always positive and negative in every moment that we experience.
But it doesn’t stop there, our brains are amazing things, but they have to process an inordinate amount of information, it has been suggested that this runs to 400 billion bits of information per second, but we are only aware of about 2000 of these bits because we filter out the bits we don’t think are important via Retina Articular System (RAS). So how do we decide what is important? Well that decides on what you tell yourself is important! It becomes a negative spiral, if you tell yourself that this time of year is miserable, your RAS will filter out anything that doesn’t back that up, so you then see miserable stuff, which then reinforces your belief that it is miserable so you then see more of it!
This was a revelation to me, it made me realise that Autumn and Winter don’t have to be miserable and all I had to do was change my focus, because when I focused on positive experiences my brain would then see more of them (because RAS works both ways!) I began to actively seek out that which was positive because then I knew that I would see more of it. I’d look forward to the parts of Autumn and Winter that I enjoyed, because I knew that I would see more things that I enjoyed and the stuff that wasn’t so good would just pale into insignificance.
This way I’m not wishing my life away, not wasting a third of my life waiting for it to pass. Well they do say life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain!
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